Webcams are a popular product, as the ability to see a person live from the other side of the planet is something special. Anyware Computer Accessories has recognized that children make up an increasingly large proportion of webcam users and has developed a RoboDog webcam - a small and compact webcam in the shape of a futuristic dog.
- Ease of use and setup, Novelty factor
- Image quality isn’t the best, software could be more advanced
It won’t blow you away with its quality, but it does provide a cheap alternative to the competition.
Price$ 29.00 (AUD)
The RoboDog is very basic and plugs into your PC via a removable USB cable, which is included in the sales package. Installation is a hassle-free process; simply install the provided software and plug the webcam into a free USB port on your computer. Keeping in line with its target audience, the RoboDog definitely scores points for setup and ease of use. The RoboDog has four hinged legs, which means if it's positioned correctly, it can sit nicely on top of your PC's monitor.
The installation CD contains a piece of software called Amcap, which is used to run the webcam. Simply click 'Options>Preview' and a window displays the current image. Focus is adjusted using the focus control, mounted in the nose of the RoboDog. We experienced some difficulty in obtaining a respectable image, as the focal ring is quite difficult to move and requires a little extra force to turn.
The software is very simple to use; 'Capture>Snap One Image' takes a still photograph, while 'Capture>Start Camera' records video. Our main complaint with the software is the lack of easy access to these controls as they are all part of the toolbar. We would have appreciated a large record button implemented into the interface, which makes it quicker to start recording or take a quick snapshot.
Video quality of the RoboDog isn't the greatest, but it is slightly better than Anyware's other foray into the webcam world, the Toy Webcam. At under $30 its excellent value for money and adds a bit of fun to the world of webcams.
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